Concert Review: Laura Marling, Feburary 9, Lee’s Palace

Toronto – I am trying to become a better blog writer. I look at other music blogs and I admire their penmanship and the incredible detail they go into describe the music they are promoting. With that in mind, I decided to take notes (on my iphone) at the Laura Marling show. I will share those notes in a moment, but lets introduce the person whose show I just went to.

Laura Marling is the current IT girl in terms of British folk music. If British Folk Music was a magazine, Laura Marling would be the centerfold, probably with an acoustic guitar, in a forest, with some leaves, and maybe a copy of some obscure novel by some rogue author. Guys with beards, dark framed glasses, newsboy hats and vintage second shop flannel shirts (not the ones from urban outfitters or club monaco) would buy these magazines at their local non franchise book shops (also girls with really short hair, striped leggings, diy purses and 20 buttons on their jackets), and it would be a pay what you can kind of deal. They then will discuss the various articles (philosophy, how to build your own garden, decreasing your carbon footprint) in these magazines while sipping fair trade coffees at their local coffee shop, which also doubles as someones kitchen. They will then hate on the apple airbook trotting, hype machine listening lacoste wearing hipster in the corner who is tweeting away, sending various urls to the latest internet meme + reading the latest issue of vice magazine.

That was a bit of a tangent there. Sorry. I first heard of Laura Marling when she was a guest vocalist on the excellent Rakes song “Suspicious Eyes”. Then she popped up again in the Mystery Jets song ‘Young Love’. The thing I noticed about both tracks was the magnificent voice. It was definitely very British, a bit posh, soft and had a hint of fragility to it. She released her first album Alas, I Cannot Swim to some fanfare, combining strong acoustic work and sweet melodies with mature lyrics far beyond her years. Her new album I Speak Because I Can is due out March 22, 2010, also known as the Saddest Day of 2010 for Ricky because that’s the day I return from SXSW. Sigh. On Tuesday night, Laura Marling returned to Toronto for the first time in over a year to promote the impending release of her new album.

On to the concert! It’s definitely different to take notes at a concert. I felt like such a reporter, kinda. Not really. But here are my notes off my iphone:

lovely bones
neil young heroin damage done
guy in crowd who yells

That’s it. I guess I have some improvements to make. Lets talk about those 4 points.

Lovely Bones – About halfway through the set, Laura introduced a new song she had written for a movie but was rejected. She then dared the crowd to guess what the movie was. Obviously immediately people yelled out Twilight and Avatar. Obviously wrong. She then went into the song, which was acoustic based and exceptionally dramatic. I think she does dramatic folk songs really well. Like, they would go well in a western movie or something. At the end of the song, some girl yells out with a really confident voice ‘Lovely Bones?’ Laura immediately said no… I found this funny because you can tell that this fan had so OBVIOUSLY paid attention to all the lyrics during the song, interpreted it and then try to match it with whatever current movie is out there, and came up with “the lovely bones”…and it was so wrong. I for one, could not even name a movie out right now besides Avatar.

Whistling – During one particular song, Laura noted that the song required some fiddles but the fiddle player was not present, so she was going to whistle that part instead. Let me tell you , this was the most impressive display of whistling I have ever seen. All the notes were hit and it was breathtaking to see so much talent in whistling. Makes me feel shame I can’t whistle at all. One of the show highlights

neil young heroin damage done – Laura played a cover song, and said it was a Neil Young song before realizing she was playing a cover song of Neil Young in Toronto. I don’t know any Neil Young songs other then the rocking in the free world song and the one he sang on the last episode of Conan. Any mention of Neil Young these days brings me to the episode of Jimmy Fallon where he impersonated Neil Young. I wrote ‘heroin damage done’ because I didn’t know the song, but I guess that was the chorus.

guy in crowd who yells – There’s always one or two. Throughout the night, there was this one guy who at first started yelling shyly at the stage, but at the end as he gained more and more confident, was treating Laura Marling like his bff. Obviously a big fan, he even referred to her as ‘Laura’ in one of his desperate shouts to get attention from the lady singer. I don’t know about you, maybe I’m old school, but I feel it’s kind of weird to address people on stage by their first names if you do not know them. When Laura Marling forgot the lyrics to Alas I Cannot Swim, he yelled out the first few words to the next line. Helpful, but weird.

Overall the show was pretty good, despite having a very casual approach to playing live, Laura Marling can hold a crowd with her music and voice alone. There was no one talking during most of her songs and she had genuine banter with the crowd (explaining why she doesn’t do encores). I left the show rather satisfied.

Here is the Singing Lamb’s review of the show and also Chromewaves.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

4 Responses to Concert Review: Laura Marling, Feburary 9, Lee’s Palace

  1. Jen

    Good review! Makes me feel like I was there. haha!

  2. David

    I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Laura live last year. Very good performer. Very mature songwriter, esp for an 18 year old. That Neil Young song is ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ from ‘Harvest’.

  3. Kathy

    Hey, you should check out Mumford & Sons’ record “Sigh No More”. You might be into them. Watch their performance on Letterman:

  4. Pingback: Concert Review: Laura Marling, May 25, 99 Sudbury - The Panic Manual | The Panic Manual

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